Tahitian Lime

Tahitian limes (Citrus latifolia) certainly pack a lot of punch and can be used for sweet or savoury dishes. Best of all, they will generally produce fruit all year round, so your kitchen will be well equipped. They are heavy-bearing trees growing to around 4 m tall, but there are dwarf forms available that grow between 1.5-2 m tall. Great for growing in pots, too.

From freshly squeezed juice in a refreshing drink to marmalade, cakes, desserts and marinades, limes can be used in multiple ways in the kitchen.

 


How to grow limes in a garden

  1. Choose a sunny spot with well drained soil. Mix some Yates Dynamic Lifter Organic Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser into the bottom of the planting hole. 
  2. Dig the planting hole twice as wide and to the same depth as the root-ball. Remove the shrub from the container, gently tease the roots and cut away any circled or tangled roots. 
  3. Position in hole and backfill, gently firming down. Form a raised ring of soil around the plant, creating a well so that water will go where it’s needed most. Water in well.  
  4. Mulch around the base with organic mulch like sugarcane or pea straw, keeping it away from the trunk.
  5. Keep your new lime tree well-watered for several months as it settles into its new home and continue to keep the soil moist during the following spring and summer, as the root system is still developing. 
  6. Feed your citrus with Yates Dynamic Lifter Organic Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser three times a year, in early spring, summer and again in autumn. 
  7. When the tree starts to produce fruit (normally in its 3rd year), feed weekly with Yates Thrive Citrus Liquid Plant Food.
     
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How to grow limes in a pot

  1. Choose a pot at least 600mm wide. Position in full sun and fill with quality potting mix, such as Yates Potting Mix with Dynamic Lifter.
    TIP: Consider placing the pot on pot feet if you live in a cold area, so it can be easily moved inside or to a more protected spot in winter. 
  2. Remove the shrub from the container, gently tease the roots and cut away any circled or tangled roots. 
  3. Position in hole and backfill, gently firming down. Water in well. 
  4. Water deeply, 2-3 times during the week, depending on weather conditions. 
  5. Keep your new lime tree well-watered for several months as it settles into its new home and continue to keep the soil moist during the following spring and summer, as the root system is still developing. Potted citrus trees will dry out much faster than in-ground trees, so it’s important to monitor moisture levels in the potting mix regularly.
  6. Feed your citrus with Yates Dynamic Lifter Organic Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser three times a year, in early spring, summer and again in autumn. 
  7. When the tree starts to produce fruit (normally in its 3rd year), feed weekly with Yates Thrive Citrus Liquid Plant Food

Growing tips

  • Limes are usually picked while they are still underripe, tangy and green. However, if they’re left on the tree their skin will yellow and the fruit will become slightly sweeter.  So if your limes turn yellow, they’re still perfectly fine to eat. If you’re short of sunny spots in the garden, grow citrus in pots that can be moved to take advantage of changing patterns of sunlight.
  • In heavy clay soils, it’s best to put extra effort into soil preparation. To check if your soil needs improving, dig a hole and pour a bucket of water into the hole – if it takes more than 30 minutes to disappear, then you will need to work your soil. Consider raising the level of the bed as much as possible, dig in gypsum and plenty of Yates Dynamic Lifter Organic Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser
  • Potted limes should be grown in a good quality mix (such as Yates Potting Mix with Dynamic Lifter) and moved into larger containers as they grow.
  • Yates Tuscan pots make great homes for citrus trees. They have a beautiful, classic look, are lightweight, and made from UV-stabilised plastic to withstand harsh conditions and help keep the pot looking great. Designed by horticulturists, they are well-drained and have vertical ridges on the inside wall, which encourage citrus roots to grow downwards, rather than circling around the pot. 
  • Growing a potted lime tree means that even cool climate gardeners can enjoy homegrown limes. Position the pot in a warm, protected spot, like against a north-facing wall, where it can soak up the sun and also enjoy radiated heat from the wall.
  • Remove any small fruit that develop within the first two years - thinning excess fruit when they’re small will encourage better sized and tasting fruit to develop in the coming years.
  • Limes are best harvested with they are light green, smooth, and slightly soft when gently squeezed.

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